Thursday, February 11, 2016

Art Labels, Part Two, the Sequel, the Next Day

Aside from the five art quilts on canvas that I discussed in my last post, I own only three other pieces from other art quilters.  None of the three pieces are what I would consider a “quilt.”  All are mixed media, one is a collage on mat board (I think), the other two are creations on stretched canvas.  Collage #1 has a neat computer printed paper label affixed to the back with the title, artist, date, artist’s address and phone number.  Collage #2 has a computer printed label with the title, media, artist, and date.  Collage #3 simply has the artist, city and state, artist’s email and title scrawled on the back in pencil. 

Does the information provided on a label convey anything of the artist’s thoughts about their work? 
Does the manner in which the information is placed on the art work say anything? 

I know I have a miniscule population sample to go on, but just the three pieces raise some interesting issues.  Not one of the three has a copyright insignia (you know, a letter “c” in a circle).  I don’t want to get deep into copyright here, which is another can o’ worms.  I will say this much; at a talk given a few years ago by a copyright lawyer, I learned that at the very least, an artist should put their name, date and the copyright symbol on their finished work to protect themselves (even if the is not formally registered).  Are artists giving up on copyright?  I know I need to learn how to watermark my images.  (No, it is not OK to repost images from this blog elsewhere, even if I haven’t done what I should do to them.) 

I was stunned over the piece that had the address and phone number on the back.  I know we all want to generate more sales, but there are now far better ways to have unknown individuals contact you.  Be careful, be safe, think about what information you are putting out there.  Yet at the same time, we want to be traceable, not just for sales here and now, but farther down the road.  Do you want future generations to appreciate your art work and know a little bit about you?  What legacy do you want to leave?  

I’m not going to divulge my answers to the above questions here, but I will put them into practice with my art work.  As someone with a bachelor’s degree in art history, I am intrigued by the future study of art work labels, not by me though.  This is a lot to ponder, and I have more than enough to think about.  Right now, I am trying to think spring, and I need to get back to a design of flowers that I hope to offer as a pattern soon.

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